Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wordless Wednesday #141

Change is underway, recently repainted SD-9 2345 sits with sister 351 still in NKP paint.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Adena Water Tank Mystery Solved

Recently the JJ Young Flickr page has been updated with a ton of new W&LE and NKP photos, definitely check them out when you have a moment. One of these new photos helped me solve a mystery of what kind of steel water tank was at Adena.

One of the problems with trying to recreate the past is simply the passage of time. Structures can change as they are remodeled, added on to or vanish when they are torn down. The Adena area did not seem to be well photographed in the past, probably due to it being in a more remote area of southeastern Ohio. Luckily the release of a few hundred W&LE/NKP JJ Young photographs has greatly improved the "visibility" into the past in that area of Ohio. Nothing remains of the steel tank today but I was hopeful some photographic evidence was out there.

The earliest photos of the Adena water tank show it being located inside the east end of the wye tracks. Below is a photo from the CSU W&LE Collection showing the water tank just inside the east wye switch next to the start of the Adena Branch on 10-19-1925. This tank was replaced in 1946 with a 195,000 gallon steel tank according to a 1954 Physical Data booklet on, and was put in a new location by the south end of the wye.

Adena Water Tower, replaced 1946 with 195k gal. steel tank, Adena, OH 10-19-25 CSU W&LE Collection
The new steel tank was a bit of a mystery, I knew where it was located (just south of the south wye switch) and how big it was (195,000 gal) but not what kind of steel tank it was. When the Wheeling started upgrading to steel water tanks after World War II they used a few different shapes. Most seemed to be either elevated on stilts or full silo-like tanks. Below is a picture of the 50,000 gal. steel tower type tank at Jewett, Ohio.

925 an ex-Clover Leaf engine next to the 50k gal. water tank at Jewett, OH, JJ Young photo
Here's a photo below of a 195,000 gal. silo type tank at Pine Valley Yard in Dillonvale, OH.

969 H-5 class near the 195,000 gal water tank at Pine Valley Yard in Dillonvale, OH.
I always assumed the new Adena steel water tank was probably like the Pine Valley tank since they both had a capacity of 195,000 gallons, but I know what can happen when you assume things. At Vermillion, OH on the NKP there is a rather larger 100,000 water tank which was elevated like the Jewett tank (it's actually is a dead ringer for the Tichy Water Tank), so I couldn't be too sure what the Adena tank looked like without some photographic proof.

While browsing the new JJ Young Photos on yesterday, one picture showed a NKP 2-6-6-2 coming off the Adena Branch at Adena. Knowing this angle was a bit more southward than other similar shots I was hopeful that the water tank would appear. Sure enough there it was at the far left side of the photo.

An NKP 2-6-6-2 rounds the wye coming off the Adena Branch at Adena. At the far left can be seen the new steel water tank installed in 1946. JJ Young Jr photo
Here it is with an arrow pointing out the tank.

Water tank at Adena, OH. JJ Young Jr photo
Just what I suspected, a match to the Pine Valley water tank. The long white stripe of the water level line and a light coat of snow on the domed top help give it's shape away. The feather of smoke from a heater in the water treatment building just to the right is a neat surprise. I planned on using a Rix Products silo model for my Pine Valley tank and it now looks like I have one more to buy!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wired Wednesday - Construction Report: August 16, 2017

Feeders! Lots of feeders went in to Pine Valley Yard over the course of a few evenings. Once I settled on a technique the rest went pretty fast.

I choose white/red bell wire for my feeders (red in back, white in front) with a spool of green 22AWG for the frogs.

This side of the layout is actually the back.
Using the bell wire, I soldered the first few feeders along the web of the rail. This was fine for the back of the rail that won't be seen but I thought it looked a bit unsightly for the front of the rail. So, I switched to a method I've seen in various paper/online publications.

I bent the end of the wire 90 degrees then flattened the end with needle nose pliers. After that I cut off a small amount of the smashed copper to allow the wire to rest inside the rail web just like a track spike.

Feeder wire
There's also a way to solder the feeder wire to the bottom of the rail to make it totally invisible. A Resistance Soldering unit makes this that method really easy-peasy. The way I settled on was pretty fast also and made for an acceptable minimally visible solder joint. When I get to laying and wiring Adena Yard I know someone with a resistance soldering unit that will help make very short work of that project.

One small problem I found were my drill bits were too short for certain areas. To help punch though the 2 inch foam and the thicker removable fuse box access section, I purchased a 3/16th 6" aircraft-type drill bit.

Feeders on the removable section

Feeder drops 
The green wire turnout frog feeders were soldered using the same method described above to one of the PC board ties used to build the switch. I made the connection at the back side of the frog so it would be out of view. The turnout frogs will be powered though DPDT switches attached to linkage that is typically used to move not only the turnout rails but also to change the frog electrical polarity.

At first I felt over whelmed at the amount of feeders that needed soldered to the DCC bus under the layout. Daydreams of battery equipped engines with the new "dead rail" systems started to fill my head. I soon remembered that many layout builders in the Yahoo Groups Proto-Layouts group swear by using 3M ScotchLok displacement connectors. I ordered a box of the red type off Amazon and quickly found them to be a godsend. I ended up with grouping feeders together with a wire nut connected to a short drop wire that in turn runs to the 3M connector at the main DCC power bus as seen in the below photo.

3M ScotchLok and wire nuts
I can't imagine wiring the layout in any other way, in only a few hours I had the whole yard wired. The best part was not soldering at awkward locations under the layout and making my neck sore. Actually that was the second best part, the BEST part was finally testing it out.

Taking some NKP GP9s for a spin.
My next plans are to get some turnout controls in place and begin the east end of Adena Yard.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday #139

A new 50 pack of of Kadee couplers inspired me to upgrade the plastic couplers on a majority of my RTR cabooses, mainly the Atlas ones. I ended up creating quite the scene in Pine Valley Yard as I upgraded each one. I threw in a custom painted W&LE caboose by Jim Kehn to finish off the heard/flock/gaggle? of cabeese.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wordless Wednesday #138

A couple pieces of flextrack temporarily link the bridge at MP 193.22 with Pine Valley Yard at one end and the temporary mainline through Adena at the other end. Here a pair of NKP Athearn Genesis GP-9's 468 and 483 take advantage of the nearly 60 feet of mainline run.